Sudan forms first cabinet since removal of al-Bashir

Sudan’s prime minister has announced the formation of the first government since the military removed longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir in April after widespread street protests.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok announced the names of 18 ministers in the new Cabinet, and said he would name two more later.

The members include Sudan’s first woman foreign minister and a former World Bank economist.

“A new stage in Sudan’s history starts today,” Hamdok said at a news conference in the capital, Khartoum. “We are seeking an end to the war and [want to] achieve sustainable peace.”

He said the cabinet would “immediately” go to work on the top challenges facing the transitional administration, which include overhauling the ailing economy and achieving peace with armed groups.

Securing peace would sharply reduce military spending, which takes up as much as 80 percent of the state budget, Hamdok said.

“If we could put an end to this [military spending], it would go to health and education,” he said.

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